Defining Geospatial Intelligence

Defining Geospatial Intelligence From Four Sources

1) From Title 10 United States Code §467

The term “geospatial intelligence” means the exploitation and analysis of
imagery and geospatial information to describe, assess, and visually depict
physical features and geographically referenced activities on the Earth.
GEOINT consists of imagery, imagery intelligence, and geospatial

2) From James R. Clapper Jr. in the NGA publication PATHFINDER (2004)

GEOINT is about more than pictures. GEOINT makes possible in-depth
assessments and judgments based on the information that is gleaned from
visual depictions. In short, GEOINT is more than imagery, maps, charts and
digital displays showing where the bad guys are. GEOINT at its best is the
analysis that results from the blending of all of the above into a dynamic,
composite view of features or activities – natural or manmade – on Earth.

3) From Keith Masback at the Geospatial Intelligence Forum (2010)

Ask 10 people to define “geospatial intelligence,” and you are likely to get
10 different answers. Words you might hear would include imagery,
photogrammetry, geography, cartography, geographic information systems,
analysis and remote sensing – and the list could go on longer. [The] legal
definition paints with a broad brushstroke an idea of the width and depth of
GEOINT. Geospatial Intelligence can’t be defined by a particular program or

4) From Todd Bacastow & Dennis Bellafiore in the American Intelligence
Journal (2009)

Geospatial intelligence is actionable knowledge, a process, and a
profession. It is the ability to describe, understand, and interpret so as
to anticipate the human impact of an event or action within a spatiotemporal
environment. It is also the ability to identify, collect, store, and
manipulate data to create geospatial knowledge through critical thinking,
geospatial reasoning, and analytical techniques. Finally, it is the ability
to present knowledge in a way that is appropriate to the decision-making
environment (United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, 2013).

Discussion Requirement:

Read Chapter One of “Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) Basic Doctrine, What
is GEOINT?” (National System for Geospatial Intelligence 2018, 3).

Most of us are familiar with the Imagery and Imagery Intelligence aspects of
Geospatial Intelligence. The Geospatial Information aspect of Geospatial
Intelligence is less known and understood. Discuss what Geospatial
Information is, and why it brings added value to Geospatial Intelligence.
250 words before sources.

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